Friday, August 9, 2013

The Demon Verge: Session 1


After I straightened out some scheduling conflicts, I was able to run the first session of the Demon Verge campaign this past Monday on Google+.

Our heroes were:

Aelaran the Resilient (male cleric), played by Bret
Cadie Stone-Spar (female dwarf), played by Jaime
Garen-Gen (male halfling), played by Dan
Magda the Witch (female magic-user), played by Chris
Ondola the Blunt (female fighter), played by my brother (also named Chris)
plus their retainers, Wart, Otto, and Bardoon

The characters are part of a larger force sent to the Demon Verge to pacify the war-torn and chaos-stricken borderlands. They started out in the Duchy of D'Ansor, collected a few rumors, and decided to investigate reports of orcs, ogres and the like -- presumably deserters from the war between the Demon province of Nisshar and the Hosarite alliance -- preying upon the farming villages to the northwest of town. They were able to track them to an ancient dwarven ruin set into a hillside, and with some clever reconnaissance and liberal use of flaming oil, managed to lure out and slay several of its inhabitants (orcs, goblins, and giant toads) before entering its partially waterlogged interior.

So, as you can see, it was a pretty basic setup (evil humanoids in a dungeon) but I had a lot of fun running it. I really enjoy playing hirelings, goblins, and other "bottom of the barrel"-type characters, and the Meatshields! hireling & henchman generator does an excellent job of instantly creating memorable goons. I also learned some lessons about flaming oil that I had forgotten (namely, that it is incredibly powerful). The players made some very smart choices in tackling the ruins and their inhabitants, got a ton of lucky rolls (no wandering monsters!) and as a result, have managed to acquire quite a nice heap of treasure with no loss of life or limb... yet.

This session was a big improvement over my previous attempts to run a game on Google+, at least in terms of my own confidence and enjoyment. That's due in no small part to the fact that this time, I'm running a relatively small dungeon that I stocked myself, rather than a giant megadungeon that requires hours of study and preparation. So far I haven't gotten the feeling that I'm "screwing up" -- justified or not -- that I often get when running others' material.

I got very valuable feedback from my players, including that they want more opportunities for roleplaying, which was a lovely thing to hear. So, a success, I think.

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